• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update: 25 - 31 August 2021

Featured in this week’s edition are issues such as the murder of Babita Deokaran, a key witness in the SIU's investigation into the PPE scandal in Gauteng; a judgment raising the defence of supervening impossibility in a matter relating to a eviction from commercial property for arrear rental; news about the Vinpro court challenge to the liquor ban restrictions; the disclosure of Covid-19 information or vaccination status in the workplace; medical ethics and more debate on mandatory vaccinations.

Contents:

Alcohol

Communications / Broadcasting

Corruption

Employment

Insurance

Ivermectin

Lease

Litigation: Challenge to Government Response

Lockdown Contraventions

Mask Mandate

Medical Ethics

Origins of Covid-19

Social Relief

Unemployment Insurance

Vaccines

ALCOHOL


Ban


Moss, Berenice. Court reserves judgment in the Vinpro alcohol ban battle. - 2021 Aug 26 SABCNews [Extract from article: “The High Court in Cape Town has reserved judgment in the case that wine representative body, Vinpro has brought to contest the approach that government has followed in liquor ban restrictions under the Disaster Management Act.”]


Sales to Unvaccinated Customers


Court cases and vaccine passports raise questions about future alcohol bans in South Africa. - 2021 Aug 26 BusinessTech [Extract from article: “The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has dismissed a proposal that Covid-19 vaccinations should be a requirement for purchasing alcohol, warning that it is not a viable option for South Africa.”]


COMMUNICATIONS / BROADCASTING


Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). Three months grace period to allow licensees to wind down their use of temporary radio frequency spectrum. 30 August 2021. [Extract from media statement: “The temporary radio frequency spectrum was first assigned by means of an expedited ITA during April 2020 on the initial declaration of the National State of Disaster, which in turn was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic…. In order to allow the licensees to wind down their operations on the temporary spectrum, and to notify consumers about the impact thereof (if any) on their service offerings, the Authority has resolved to amend the COVID-19 National Disaster Regulations to provide for continued use of the temporary radio frequency spectrum licences for the period ending 30 November 2021.”]


CORRUPTION


Bhengu, Lwandile. Babita Deokaran: SIU says measures are in place to protect witnesses and whistleblowers. - 2021 Aug 28 News24


Heywood, Mark. The great Covid-19 swindle (Part One): Business as usual at the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development. - 2021 Aug 26 Daily Maverick

Extract from article: “In this series of four articles, we provide an update on our investigations into financial misconduct around fogging in several departments of the Gauteng Provincial Government as well as the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.”


Lindeque, Mia. Deokaran's murder a great loss for SA, corruption fight – Ramaphosa. -

2021 Aug 30 Eyewitness News [Extract from article: "“Babita Deokaran was shot outside her home in the south of Joburg a week ago, after dropping off her child at school. She was a key witness in the SIU's investigation into the PPE scandal in Gauteng.”]


Khumalo, Juniour. Ramaphosa spokesperson Khusela Diko reinstated on a warning following PPE tender saga. - 2021 Aug 31 News24


Rabkin, Franny. I’m a PPE scandal scapegoat and fear I’ll share Babita’s fate: ex-health CFO. - 2021 Aug 29 TimesLive


EMPLOYMENT


Covid-19 / Vaccination Status


Stanley, Kayleigh. Can one dismiss an employee for informing someone that their employer is showing symptoms of COVID-19? - 2021 Aug 30 SEESA Blog


Vengeni, Refiloe. What are your rights to privacy when it comes to your vaccination status as an employee? - 2021 Aug 18 Beech Veltman Inc


Employer’s Liability


Mmako, Precious; Dias, Jordan and Van der Merwe, Pierre. Liability of the employer in the workplace, where an employee contracts COVID-19. - 2021 Aug 24 Schindlers Attorneys


INSURANCE


Pillay, Vernon. 2020 life insurance stats reveal Covid-19 impact and instils the need for people to get the vaccine. - 2021 July 30 IOL [Extract from article: “Ingram revealed that of the R5.5 billion in claims paid in 2020, over R370 million was for 217 Covid-19 related death claims. For 2021, until the end of July, Momentum has paid close to R1.4 billion for another 842 Covid-19 related death claims, which shows the devastation inflicted by the second and third waves – and without a clear end in sight for the third wave.”]


IVERMECTIN


Swart, Nadya. Why the ‘gold standard’ of proof demanded to green light Ivermectin is inappropriate – Prof Colleen Aldous. - 2021 Aug 28 BizNews


Thaldar, D.W. Ivermectin and the rule of law. - 2021 14(2) South African Journal of Bioethics and Law [Extract from article: “This article is not about the merits or demerits of using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. Rather, it is about the ongoing lawsuits surrounding ivermectin, particularly about a concerning affront to the rule of law that becomes evident from the court papers filed in these lawsuits.”]


LEASE


Freestone Property Investment (Pty) Ltd vs Remake Consultants CC and Another (2020/29927) [2021] ZAGPJHC 150 (25 August 2021) [Lease – Covid-19 lockdown – supervening impossibility – eviction from commercial premises for arrear rental – defence raised that lockdown amounted to supervening impossibility, because it made it unlawful for both lessor and lessee to perform their obligations – Summary judgment granted for ejectment of Remake – Leave granted to defend on claim for arrear rental.]


LITIGATION: CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT RESPONSE


Helen Suzman Foundation fights costs order in Covid-19 battle with government. -

2021 Aug 27 IOL [Extract from article: “The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) wants the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to reconsider and vary its court order dismissing with costs its challenge to the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SCA has agreed to hear the reconsideration and, if necessary, variation application within the next three months.”]


LOCKDOWN CONTRAVENTIONS


Matiwane, Zimasa. Partying KZN MEC fined half her salary for flouting Covid-19 rules. -

2021 Aug 29 TimesLive


MEDICAL ETHICS


Brierley, Joe [et al.]. Challenging misconceptions about clinical ethics support during COVID-19 and beyond: A legal update and future considerations. - 2021 47(8) Aug Journal of Medical Ethics p549


Brusa, Margherita and Barilan, Yechiel Michael. Voluntary COVID-19 vaccination of children: A social responsibility. - 2021 47(8) Aug Journal of Medical Ethics p543


Lee, Kyungdo and Eyal, Nir. COVID-19 controlled human infection studies: Worries about local community impact and demands for local engagement. - 2021 47(8) Aug Journal of Medical Ethics p539


Sprengholz, Philipp [et al.]. Money is not everything: Experimental evidence that payments do not increase willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19. - 2021 47(8) Aug Journal of Medical Ethics p547


MASK MANDATE


Florida schools can mandate masks, judge rules. - 2021 Aug 27 The Guardian


MEDICAL LAW


Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965: Exclusion of certain alcohol-based hand-rubs from operation of specified provisions. RGN756 GG 45057 p15 27Aug2021


ORIGINS OF COVID-19


Tshikalange, Shonisani. Covid-19 ‘Wuhan lab leak theory’ is a fabrication, says China’s ambassador to SA. - 2021 Aug 30 TimesLive


SOCIAL RELIEF


Merten, Marianne. Finance Minister Godongwana tables draft law for extra billions from the national kitty. - 2021 Aug 24 Daily Maverick [Extract from article: "“The bid to urgently release a further R32.85-billion from the national coffers to help pay for Covid-19 relief grants, soldiers’ deployment and to support the government’s all-risk insurer, Sasria, is formally under way in Parliament with the tabling of the Second Special Appropriation Bill.”]


Office of the AG to brief Parliament Committee on COVID-19 relief package findings. -

2021 Aug 31 SABCNews


UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE


The Department of Employment and Labour has welcomed the arrest of a 39-year-old bookkeeper who is accused of swindling the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme of R11,1 million. 27 August 2021.


VACCINES


Mandatory Vaccination


Cheadle, Halton and Gray, Glenda. Jab for the Job: Can an employer legally require its employees to be vaccinated? (Part Two). - 2021 Aug 22 Daily Maverick


Dhai, Ames. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate: Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace. - 2021 14(2) South African Journal of Bioethics and Law p42 [Extract from article: “What is needed is a balance between individual rights and the public good. As South Africans, we value the rights accorded to us in the Constitution. We should in parallel take heed of their limitations, in particular in the context of furthering the public good as in the current contagion.”]


Lindeque, Mia . Govt considering making Covid vaccine jab mandatory. - 2021 Aug 27 Eyewitness News [Extract from article: "Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at this stage government was speaking to various fora about the feasibility of making vaccines compulsory, but for now, they are only exploring their options.]


More businesses are going to insist on mandatory vaccination in South Africa: CEO. -

2021 Aug 30 BusinessTech [Extract from article: “As South Africa ramps up its Covid-19 vaccination efforts, more businesses are likely to require that both their employees and customers are vaccinated, says Business Leadership South Africa chief executive Busi Mavuso.”]


Ndlovu, Ray. Zimbabwe union takes state, companies to court over forced shots. -

2021 Aug 28 Moneyweb [Extract from article: “Zimnat Insurance, associated with Sanlam, SeedCo Zimbabwe and Windmill are some of the firms cited in the court filings. Zimbabwe’s biggest worker’s union has taken the state and several firms to court for insisting that employees must be inoculated against Covid-19 before reporting for work, saying there is no law under the country’s statutes providing for compulsory vaccination.”]


Passport / Proof of Vaccination


Cheadle, Halton and Gray, Glenda. Vaccines are our passports to economic and social recovery from Covid-19 (Part Three). - 2021 Aug 29 Daily Maverick



The Lexinfo Covid-19 Regulatory Update is a free weekly newsletter containing topical references to the latest information on Covid-19 related legal issues




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